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Do you have trouble sticking to the New Year’s resolutions that you set out for yourself every year? If so, you’re not alone. Half of all resolutions are abandoned before the first month of the year is up. With such a dismal success rate, is it even worth it to make resolutions? Absolutely, so long as they’re SMART. Originally coined in an article in the journal Management Review, “SMART” goal setting was originally intended for successful goal setting in business management — but it can work for your resolutions, too. The letters in SMART stand for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound — all characteristics of successful resolutions. Here’s how you can apply those characteristics to your goals. SPECIFIC One reason many resolutions fail is because they’re too vague. “I want to work out more,” or “I want to read more books,” are good resolutions, but they lack the clarity that makes them actionable. Instead, make goals like “I’m going to work out three times a week,” or “I’m going to read for 10 minutes every night before bed.” The intent behind these goals is the same, but being specific makes them easier to achieve. MEASURABLE On your journey to achieve your goal, you should have a clear way to measure your progress. Nothing encourages further growth more than seeing the progress written down or recorded somewhere. Progress on weight loss and exercise goals is easy to measure, but it’s possible to track your progress on any other goal as well. For example, if you’re trying to cut back on smoking, you can keep track of how many days you go between cigarettes. Ideally, by recording that progress, you can see the number of days between cigarettes grow. SETTING SMART GOALS FOR THE NEW YEAR
ACHIEVABLE While it’s okay to have big dreams, keeping them realistic is a big part of successfully achieving them. Trying to accomplish too much too fast only leads to discouragement, so making sure your goals are achievable is essential to your success. While losing 20 pounds in a month is unrealistic, you might be more successful at shedding one pound a week. The nice thing about keeping your goals achievable is if your goals become too easy to achieve, you can always set new, more challenging goals in the future. RELEVANT While asking “how?” when creating resolutions is important, it’s just as crucial to ask “why?” Why did you choose your resolutions? Are you making those resolutions for the right reasons? If your resolutions are based on what your friends are doing, on a spur of the moment feeling, or a sense of guilt or self-hate, you probably won’t follow through. When you create your resolutions, you should always start by asking yourself what changes would be good and healthy for you . TIME-BOUND A timeline is an important component of any successful resolution. Think of how long you want it to take you to reach your goal. Then, add smaller milestones to that timeline. These smaller wins will encourage you toward your overarching goal. Operating on a blank, endless timeline spells disaster for your resolutions, but if you know where you want to be in a month, six months, or a year, you can ensure your success. Having SMART goals takes some serious thought and a lot of planning, but if you’re serious about your New Year’s resolutions, and you want them to create lasting change in your lifestyle, it’s more than worth the effort.
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CTRL, ALT, DELETE YOUR CLUTTER TIPS FOR NATIONAL CLEAN UP YOUR COMPUTER MONTH
For thousands of years, humans have dedicated part of their year to starting anew — though not always on Jan. 1. As early as 4,000 years ago, ancient Babylonians celebrated the new year following the vernal equinox in late March. It was a day of great religious and political significance for the Babylonians when they celebrated the mythical victory of their god Marduk over an evil sea goddess named Tiamat. It was also around this time that they crowned a new king or confirmed the current king’s divine right to rule. New Year’s celebrations didn’t happen on Jan. 1 until 46 BC in the Roman Empire. After Julius Caesar instituted the Julian Calendar to replace a calendar based on lunar cycles, he decreed that Jan. 1 would be the first day of a new year. This was because January was named after Janus, the Roman god of new beginnings. Romans typically celebrated this day with gift exchanges, parties, and decorating their homes with laurel branches. Celebrating the new year fell out of practice in medieval Europe. Christian leaders at the time temporarily called for new year celebrations to coincide with holidays that held more religious significance, such as Dec. 25 or March 25 (the Feast of the NEW YEAR’S CELEBRATIONS THROUGHOUT THE AGES From Ancient Babylon to the Rest of the World Everyone relies on technology. Computers, laptops, tablets, and phones are staples of modern life. However, it’s easy for these devices to become cluttered with old photos, files, and general disorganization. Luckily, January is National Clean Up Your Computer Month and an excellent time to get your technology in order. START BY DUSTING Over time, computer towers can become clogged with dust, which creates additional, unwanted heat within your computer. Regular cleanings will increase the lifespan of your computer and protect its essential components. Compressed air is great for removing most of the dust and other particulates. If the fans or filters are too dirty, you can remove them from the tower to clean them better. If you use water or liquid cleaning products on them, be sure they are completely dry before placing them back into your computer. ORGANIZE YOUR FILES Naming and arranging the files on your computer in such a way that they’re easy for you to find can end up saving you a lot of time.
Declutter your workspace by creating one file for pictures, one for Word documents, one for spreadsheets, and one for programs to eliminate the hassle of frantically searching for the files you need. BACK UP YOUR COMPUTER Be sure to back up your computer before you start deleting things. This acts as a safety net in case you delete something you didn’t mean to. Additionally, consider installing a second hard drive. The extra space can help with storing important files without having to worry about how much room is left. CLEAN UP SPACE Any files you’ll never use again should be deleted. Likewise, any programs you haven’t used in a while should be uninstalled. Check your hard drive for files that might be taking up unintended space on your computer. And remember to empty the recycling bin — it’s easy to forget just how much goes in there.
Annunciation). Then, in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII reestablished Jan. 1 as the first day of the new year as a part of creating the Gregorian Calendar, which corrected some minor inaccuracies in the Julian Calendar. Today, many countries have different traditions for celebrating the new year. Because pigs symbolize progress and prosperity in many parts of
the world, eating pork is a big part of New Year’s celebrations for some. Others eat ring-shaped pastries
to symbolize how the year has come full circle. Fireworks and parties are a nearly ubiquitous part of any New Year’s celebration. However it’s celebrated, though, New Year’s Eve continues to give people everywhere an opportunity to start fresh and breathe a little easier.
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PEOPLE REALLY SPEND TIME DOING THIS? Some of the World’s Strangest Hobbies
Do you think your hobbies are weird? Well, stamp collecting and home brewing don’t have anything on these pastimes. January is National Hobby Month — a time to celebrate the ways we spend our time outside of work, whatever they may be. While not every hobby is equally venerated, all deserve to be appreciated for helping us de-stress, form relationships, and find our passions. Here are some of the weirdest hobbies to have ever become popular.
an iron, an ironing board, a shirt, and a bizarre location in which to use them. Participants have climbed sheer rock surfaces and even skydived while ironing clothing. Why does this hobby exist? There’s probably not an easy answer, but with nearly 6,000 followers on Facebook, this strange pastime probably won’t die anytime soon. TOY TRAVELING This is a bizarre hobby made possible by our innate wanderlust and social media obsession. Only, instead of taking pictures of ourselves or our friends on adventures around the globe, the idea of toy traveling is to take pictures of stuffed animals or other toys as they “travel” around the world. If you travel a lot, this might be a fun way to garner interest in your social media pages. SWAMP FOOTBALL You could create an entire list just of weird hobbies that came from Finland (some others include wife carrying and hobbyhorse riding). In terms of popularity though, swamp football seems to have garnered the most interest. It’s pretty much what it sounds like — you play football (soccer) in a swamp. It was originally just a way for cross- country skiers to stay fit during the summer, but now there are an estimated 300 teams worldwide.
EXTREME IRONING Combining the mundane with the fantastic, extreme ironing is not a hobby
for the faint of heart. If you want to partake, all you need is
ingredients • 1 cup dried black-eyed peas • 5–6 cups water • 1 dried hot pepper, optional (arbol and Calabrian are great options) • 1 smoked ham hock • 1 medium onion, diced • 1 cup long-grain white rice A traditional New Year’s favorite in the South, Hoppin’ John includes black-eyed peas that are said to represent coins, a sign of prosperity for the coming year. It’s usually served alongside collard greens, which represent cash.
1. Wash and sort peas. 2. In a saucepan, cover peas with water, discarding any that float. 3. Add pepper, ham hock, and onion. Gently boil and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until peas are just tender, about 90 minutes. At this point, you should have about 2 cups of liquid remaining. 4. Add rice, cover, drop heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes, undisturbed. 5. Remove from heat and let steam for an additional 10 minutes, still covered. 6. Remove lid, fluff with a fork, and serve.
AQUARIUS CAPRICORN CELEBRATE CHAMPAGNE FIREWORKS
FREEZING JANUARY MIDNIGHT NEW YEAR PARTY PIG
RESOLUTION SNOW TOAST WINTER
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inside this issue
S etting SMART G oals for the N ew Y ear
E nter 2020 W ith an O rganized C omputer N ew Y ear ’ s C elebrations T hroughout the A ges D o T hese H obbies S ound I nteresting to Y ou ? H oppin ’ J ohn
A bout U s
ABOUT US Zinda Law Group is a nationally recognized personal injury law firm that serves clients across Texas, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and throughout the United States. Our accident lawyers have extensive experience handling a wide range of personal injury claims, including car accidents, 18-wheeler wrecks, wrongful death cases, motorcycle accidents, dog bites and animal attacks, drunk driver crashes, and much more. Our firm is devoted to providing each client with all the resources of a large firm and the individualized attention of a small practice. Unlike many other injury firms, we have the ability to conduct investigations, hire expert witnesses, and utilize cutting-edge technology to help you build the strongest case possible. The personal injury lawyers at Zinda Law Group can help you seek the full and fair recovery you deserve. With offices located in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, and Arizona, Zinda Law Group has a nationwide reach to meet your needs where you are.
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